Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Monday that he has filed a brief in state Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of a law that ultimately gave Deepwater Wind an exclusive contract to build a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.
Lynch said the law was a violation of separation of powers.
The state Public Utilities Commission in March rejected Deepwater’s proposal to sell power from a demonstration wind farm.
The General Assembly passed a law over the summer requiring the PUC to review the decision. The law also named Deepwater Wind as the applicant.
“When a legislature attempts to give a single failed applicant a customized privilege to re-apply to the tribunal after a final decision, such legislation amounts to an attempt at re-determination of the result in a particular already-concluded case—a violation of separation-of-powers,” the brief says.
The PUC in August approved Deepwater Wind’s power purchase agreement with National Grid.
Gov. Don Carcieri has backed the Deepwater project as a source of new jobs and a new industry for Rhode Island.
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